KEVIN NEALON – Standup Comedian
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Kevin Nealon comes across as the extremely likable guy next door, (who just happens to have an interesting job) more than a manic comic seamlessly morphing from the taller half of Hans and Franz into Subliminal Man, and back to SNL Weekend Anchor. Currently, he seems cast against type as a pot-smoking politician in Showtime’s acclaimed series, the quirky “Weeds”. Although he emerged from the melting-pot of comics and crackpot “partiers” otherwise known as the Not Ready for Primetime Players on Saturday Night Live, Nealon is nonetheless the last comedian you’d expect to play a perpetual stoner.
This just gives him more comic material. “Invariably someone comes up to me after a show and says, ‘Hey you want to smoke this reefer? It’s really good stuff.’ And I have to explain to them, ‘Thanks but I don’t really smoke pot.’ And they can’t believe it, and they’re like, ‘No, c’mon… seriously.’ So I start wondering if the actors from The Sopranos go out to dinner and someone goes up to them with a .38 caliber and asks, ‘Hey, want to go wack some people?’
With his unique take on life, profoundly dry wit, and easy going man-on-the-street persona, Kevin Nealon has established himself as one of the premier stand-up comedians and comic actors of his generation (b. November 18, 1953, Bridgeport, Connecticut). Nealon, however, started out the reluctant comic. The first night he decided to try it, he stayed in his car outside of the Improv the whole night, too nervous to go in. Night two, he made it inside the showroom, but didn’t put his name in the hat to perform. On his third attempt, he made it inside, put his name in the hat, and heard his name called several times. But instead of stepping up to the mic, he stayed in his seat, looking around as if also trying to spot this no-show loser Nealon.
Once he got his game on, however, his career took off. Nealon debuted his standup act on network television for Carson on The Tonight Show in 1984. In 1986, Saturday Night Live recruited his pal Dana Carvey and Carvey, in turn, recommended Nealon. Turned out to be a great ‘two-fer’ for the fans. Both joined the cast and Nealon became a full-time performer in the 1987-1988 season, and stayed for nine seasons, ” creating iconic characters and impressions, anchoring the “news”, and also garnering an Emmy nomination for writing — while tying Tim Meadows as the longest running member of the troupe.
Nealon’s extensive television credits include specials on Comedy Central and guest appearances on such award winning shows as The Larry Sanders Show, Fat Actress, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Comedy Central’s Crank Yankers and Monk. His film debut in the 1987 romantic comedy, Roxanne with Steve Martin, led to over two dozen comedies, including Happy Gilmore, The Wedding Singer and You Don’t Mess with the Zohan with Adam Sandler, Joe Dirt, Anger Management with Jack Nicholson, Daddy Day Care with Eddie Murphy and Get Smart with Steve Carrell.
But Nealon never goes too long without doing stand-up. “It’s kind of like riding a bike, ” you get rusty if you don’t do it for a while, but when it comes back, it’s just like an old friend.” Life has given him a whole new set of experiences to riff on. His first child with his wife, actress Susan Yeagley (co-host with Nealon of the annual review of World’s Funniest Commercials), also produced a successful first effort at writing a book, Yes, You’re Pregnant, But What About Me? – memoirs of a first-time dad at 53. When he allows himself to come to terms with the inevitable, he paraphrases something SNL producer Lorne Michaels used to say about going live every week, “I’m not ready, it’s just time.”
Travels from: Los Angeles, California
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